York County to hold line on taxes, balance budget in 2019

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch
Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016--Mark Derr, York County administrator. Bill Kalina photo

York County commissioners are expecting to pass a balanced budget for 2019 with no property tax increase.

County administrator Mark Derr presented the preliminary budget plan Wednesday, Nov. 21. The $252.6 million in budgeted expenses for 2019 is less than half the total budget of about $574 million.

That $574 million total is about $62 million less than the county's projected final 2018 budget of $636.4 million.

Derr paid particular attention to the reduction in costs associated with operating Pleasant Acres Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, which the county sold to a private company in July 2018.

Budgeted 2019 costs for the nursing home are just $1.5 million, compared with projected total 2018 costs of $50.5 million.

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In addition to payroll and operating costs associated with Pleasant Acres, the county will also save on future subsidies of the center.

Derr said that by the end of 2018, the county will have paid about $11.5 million to subsidize the nursing home, and that the number could rise even more before Dec. 31.

But since the county sold the nursing home, those subsidies will not be required in 2019 and beyond.

Because of the sale, the county will see a reduction in retirement fund costs for about 500 nursing home employees who are no longer on the county payroll. The balance of those employee retirement benefits was paid out with the proceeds of the $33.5 million sale of the facility.

Derr said the county also will save on the subsidy to the York County 911 center. He said changes proposed and implemented by 911 center management this year will result in a reduction of more than $1.2 million in costs for 2019.

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There are projected increases in expenses for 2019 because of higher staffing levels at York County Prison and the anticipated lease and purchase of a new building on Pleasant Valley Road in Springettsbury Township, but Derr said the decrease in subsidies will balance out the increase in expenses.

The commissioners will vote to adopt the budget at their Dec. 19 meeting.